Commutes are free for employers. If those 2 hours lost on the road would be paid, remote work would have been the standard since the 90's.

@MikeVeerman I never understood, how this is possible - just say you want a handy man to come over and fix your what-ever - there /always/ will be the way to you on the bill, but not so for the handy-man if they have some way from home to work. Such utter non-sense.

@MikeVeerman Only for job where remote work is an option though.

@MikeVeerman Well, any office jobs implying frontoffice in contact with clients (or like in my librarian case patrons) needs a physical presence for at least part of the task to be done, and that’s only the first thing I can think of.

Also, I wouldn’t be sure that office jobs are the majority of jobs either.

(Oh, btw I don’t know where you are, but here commutes aren’t really free for employers, they do give something for commuting in various ways depending on how you commute.)

@arcans @MikeVeerman
If it's not possible to work remotely then the employer would still be compensating the employee for their time, instead of forcing the employee to do unpaid labor.

@MikeVeerman Funny thing is for a CSR position or similar, tracking performance is straightforward, and work from home is significantly cheaper for the employer. Yet many private and public agencies still run call centers 🤑

Management's incompetence encourages this, most orgs are still stuck in the butt in seat mindset, whereby if someone isn't punching a clock and being managed like a small child, the manager feels useless. Really just costs the employer overall, offices ain't cheap!

@MikeVeerman But people commute 2 hours a day because they can't afford to live within walking distance. Presumably local housing costs are reflected in salaries so indirectly the employer pays.

@edavies It's not about who pays. It's about the absurdity of losing the best hours of your day getting to an open office where you block out your "colleagues" with headphones.

@MikeVeerman if you move house should the employer pay more? What’s your alternative?

@MikeVeerman @dch At least in california letting cities replace single family homes with multifamily housing would help with commutes. (It'd increase the supply of housing and hopefully reduce prices)

@MikeVeerman or employers would have taken only people living close to the company

@SallyStrange @DarckCrystale @MikeVeerman I mean, I see where you're coming from, but this makes me think of when companies build their own living space and pay for their new employees to move there and thus are both their employers and their landlords... Add in a cafeteria (or decades ago, probably a grocers) run by The Company in a convenient location and voila, you have your employees entirely dependent on you.

As long as we have companies that aren't under control of the workers this will always be a problem. But if we have to choose between companies that externalize the cost of transporting workers from home to job site or those that compensate workers for that time somehow, whether via direct payment for travel or investment in nearby living situations, I guess I'd pick the latter.
@DarckCrystale @MikeVeerman


You don't seem particularly sorry, nor particularly interested in examining the set of issues at play here from any perspective except "how does this affect me personally"

There's nothing wrong with considering that but if it's the only perspective you have then it limits how interesting any conversation with you can be. Yep, as a worker it sucks to move. As a worker, lots of things fucken suck.

@SallyStrange @DarckCrystale @MikeVeerman I wholeheartedly agree, people should be compensated for the costs of doing their job as well as paid for the job itself..

@InspectorCaracal @SallyStrange @DarckCrystale @MikeVeerman

This is definitely a valid worry because it was the business status quo for quite a while in industrializing America, more so if you count feudalism as basically a fancy hereditary form of this.

They started to issue their own currency that couldn't be used outside of their own company stores.

@DamienGranz @SallyStrange @DarckCrystale @MikeVeerman Yes!! This is exactly what I was talking about. Plus some Silicon Valley companies have been trying to recreate this kind of thing more recently, which is very troubling.

@SallyStrange @MikeVeerman nope because as a worker, I don't want to move each time I change of job.

How did I never thought of that?!

I think it would be a valid strategy to fight for employers to reimburse commute.

BTW when France still had many industries, the big companies had their own bus to come pick up/drop off employees

@freyja_wildes Or to switch to remote work where possible. If all the office workers are taken out of the equation, nurses don't have traffic jams.

@mikeveerman bonus round: many contractors charge clients for commute time ... while not paying employees for that time.

i actually spend 2 hours on my commute every day, and if i was paid for those at the same rate, o would have no problem with it.

instead it's hell.

@MikeVeerman There'd be major differences in Urban planning too

@MikeVeerman Don't forget the fucking classic where you're held accountable for the slightest bit of unpredictable traffic on your 50 mile commute, so the only way to actually ensure you arrive on time is to get there incredibly early on 95% of days, wasting more unpaid time

@DetectiveHyde @MikeVeerman The way I deal with that is by leaving earlier to compensate.

Hahahaha who am I kidding, I procrastinate and arrive just in the nick of time, except when I'm late, and then end up procrastinating again and *leaving* late. D-:

@MikeVeerman see XAVIER WRONA Architect in Chicago - Paris ... www.MostlyVideo.WORK .. click Urban System x Geographies .. scroll to AFTER THE REVOLUTION ... 1love keep up good works

@MikeVeerman if you have a 2hr commute (even 30min iirc) you get tax deductible in Sweden. Pretty rad.

You get it no matter if you take your own car or public transport, or bike!

@MikeVeerman some employers do offer a form of communter's compensation as a benefit. My company offers coverage both for public transit, as well as gas compensation for drivers.

I'm not sure how standard this practice is, but I have seen it at a number of startups.

@MikeVeerman And companies that need presence would have been more enthusiastic about job-swapping to minimize commutes.

Can't find it, but there have been programs that made a database of (say) all the 7-11s in a region, and let workers register for which locations were good commutes for them, and would notify pairs of workers who could swap jobs to mutual benefit. I believe the cities ran them to reduce traffic; the companies grudgingly admitted that they lost nothing and gained less-tired employees.

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